Why Asset Tracking Software is Essential For Saving Your Business Time and Money

Why Asset Tracking Software is Essential For Saving Your Business Time and Money

Keeping your business lean and streamlined is an attitude that leads to healthier profits and greater peace of mind. Having said that, as an organisation grows in size and complexity, making the decisions that will result in sustainable, rapid growth without creating unexpected costs, becomes less clear cut. Asset tracking is a great example of this.

It’s easy to see why a small business might shy away from investing in asset tracking software. Every penny is accounted for and investing in physical assets, that hold a value and have a clear application, is a more straightforward decision. What about managing those assets? Well, for a small business with minimal assets, then a software solution can seem like overkill. An ongoing and unnecessary cost. Afterall, it should be possible to keep on top of things well enough using a spreadsheet or paper records.

That may be true in the short term. But if you have plans to grow, this manual approach to asset tracking can quickly become a false economy. If you are a business that needs to operate in multiple locations, then not using asset tracking software from day one may well end up creating a lot of aggravation and, more importantly, costs.


What is Asset Tracking?

At its simplest, asset tracking is exactly what it sounds like- keeping track of the physical items a business owns. However, when people talk about asset tracking, they are generally referring to a set of technologies that are used to keep on top of assets. 

Through a combination of different tagging systems and other tracking methods, it is possible to have a largely automated system for knowing everything you need to know about your organisation’s valuable assets. Where they are, who has them, their status and any associated essential info.

At the core of this essential business practice is asset tracking software. It’s the glue that holds everything together, and makes it possible to reap the rewards that true asset tracking offers.

Asset


Benefits of Asset Tracking

We’ve made the claim that avoiding an investment in appropriate software to keep on top of your business’ property is, at best, a short term cost saving and, at worst, a long-term headache and drain on resources. Below are just some of the benefits available to you by taking full advantage of asset tracking.


Reduce Admin Costs

This one might seem counterintuitive. Surely managing all that data generated through your asset tracking system will create admin, not reduce it. Well, this is where the interface and functionality of your asset tracking software saves the day. A clever software will only notify you of what you need to know, while making it possible to quickly find out specific information that will support business decisions.

When using technology to power your asset tracking efforts, the information updates a central database without a manual input. This massively reduces the admin effort involved updating spreadsheets and paper records.


Know When You Need to Upgrade

If you are relying on IT infrastructure to operate effectively as a business, then knowing when you need to upgrade is vital. However, this is important for all sorts of businesses. Construction companies have to make sure that their equipment is not only safe and up to code, but also capable of doing the job.

There are several easy to implement, straightforward ways of achieving this through asset tracking. Perhaps the most common way is to add dates to the data associated with an item so that you get notification when the item is due an upgrade. Simple. However, this is not always enough. It is possible to collect information on an item’s performance, and set triggers that give you insight into whether it is still reliable.


Increase Asset Lifespan

So, you’ve seen how you can upgrade your assets at the optimal time, namely, when they have started to become a drain. This avoids a situation emerging where operations are being weighed down with unreliable, unproductive assets. Great. But isn’t it just as important that your assets keep performing their function well for as long as possible?

Of course.

This is best achieved through a sensible maintenance schedule. In this way, the relevant people can be notified when an item needs to be serviced, thus ensuring you get the most bang for your buck.

Also, by making staff accountable for the equipment they are using makes unnecessary repairs less likely.

There is another possibility here. Say you are using a certain supplier for your PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) devices and the supplier advertises a lifespan for the product. Through asset tracking it will be possible to identify whether the performance of the product is up to scratch and give you the insight you need to negotiate a price reduction or change suppliers with confidence. 


React to Issues Quickly and Effectively

You rely on your assets to operate efficiently. When breakdowns happen, they affect your ability to work optimally and this ultimately has a negative impact on profits. The insidious thing about this is that it is difficult to quantify. Maybe revenue is up, that can make it really difficult to understand any drag effect that equipment failures are having on profits.

Using asset tracking software you can respond quickly to issues as they arise. Easily access insurance or warranty information as well as useful contact details. Furthermore, you can spot patterns in breakdowns which can help you tackle staffing and supplier issues.


Protect Margins As You Grow

Through careful management and a well made and diligently implemented strategy, you are seeing the fruits of your labours in the form of growth. Revenues are up and profits are up. However, it is common to see profit margins reduce. There are loads of reasons for this, but the root cause is often that the systems of control that were effective before are no longer so.

Asset tracking is a clear example of this phenomenon. As a business grows, so does the quantity of assets you are relying on. So, manual tracking activities that seemed effective in the past may no longer be up to the job!


Increase Security of Valuable Assets

It sounds obvious but asset tracking is a great way of vastly increasing the security of your assets. If you have valuable assets out on the road, they are susceptible to theft. In fact, it is likely that if you have been operating for a few years that you have had some unfortunate experiences around missing property.

First things first, just having proper asset tracking in place is a surprisingly effective deterrent for thieves. But, if the worst does happen, it should be possible to launch an investigation that will yield results.

You can even take things one step further and set up geofences which means you will be notified when an asset is taken somewhere it shouldn’t be!

Asset Security


Mitigate the Risks of Scaling Up

It’s already been pointed out that profits and profit margins are at risk when you scale up. Asset tracking protects you from this through automation that can handle a huge amount of physical objects. The other way asset tracking can help here is by making it painless to add new assets to your register through image recognition.


Ways of Asset Tracking

So, there are real, measurable benefits that you can access through asset tracking software. But what does this look like in real terms? How can you convert your current asset network into an easy to understand, automatically updating database of essential information?


Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets represent a lot of possibilities. If you are an advanced user, you can custom build processes that can achieve a certain amount of automation. However, processes like this are likely to break as you grow, which means you need to be reliant on an employee or 3rd party with VBA coding ability to constantly make changes.

Even then, this method is outdated. From a programming point of view, there are much more secure, fast and stable methods of tracking assets. From a user interface point of view, asset tracking software is designed to suit the task at hand. Rows and columns can only go so far and the cracks will start to show as your network of assets becomes more complex.

Spreadsheet Asset


RFID Tracking

RFID (radio frequency identification) works by transmitting a radio wave that can tags that are within range. This is then translated into data which updates your database which is accessible via your software. RFID tags are also great if you need concealed tags. This way, you don’t need to have a visible barcode or QR tag! 

With classic RFID tags, handheld scanners are a means of interacting with assets and updating your asset register. Scanning codes with handheld scanners makes it possible to report on the status and location of assets without having to rely on memory or data entry.

In warehouses, fixed RFID tags are often indispensable. By creating fixed points that can identify RFID tags as they cross the invisible barrier, you can see at a glance where on your site assets are, what they are being used for and who is responsible for it. This might sound like major investment territory, but it’s actually a relatively minor cost to get set up with a simple system. You can always scale up after fixed RFID tracking has proved its worth!


QR Tracking

QR codes have become a mainstay of our day-to-day lives. When it comes to asset tracking, there are practical applications that go beyond marketing! Qr codes are cheap to produce and can be adhered to even relatively low value items, like handheld construction tools. After they are scanned, the data is translated into a readable state which is accessible via your central software.


GPS Tracking

When we think of GPS tracking, we think of vehicles. And it’s true, GPS tracking is ideal for managing a fleet of vehicles. With GPS tracking you can see where your vehicles are in real-time. It’s easy to imagine what this insight can do for customer experience and staff productivity.

GPS tracking is all about location. Combining GPS with other tracking methods (like QR tags), allows for comprehensive reporting and, therefore, greater insight and control. 

GPS Asset


Asset Tracking with itemit

itemit provide complete software solutions for asset tracking. The solutions designed by itemit are always customised, easy to use and can interact harmoniously with your other systems, such as CRM or ERP. 

Sounds great, but how much is this going to cost? Well, itemit have years of experience and an impressive amount of successful implementations. We look at your operation and your goals and come up with an approach that is streamlined, cost-effective and, importantly, measurable.

Every organisation has its own way of doing things. That means you need asset management software that fits the way you work, and not force you to make radical changes to your operation. 

If you are using spreadsheets to keep on top of your assets, then you could see considerable gains through working with us!

Book a demo today to see all itemit’s features in action. To find out more details, you can always contact our team at team@itemit.com

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